Rearing a Second Family

by Jim Sasser

In our local paper last Sunday and Tuesday there were different articles and statistics concerning children that are being basically reared by their grandparents. This means that they are rearing a second family. I am fortunate enough to have 20 wonderful grandchildren. If an emergency should arise, even though my dear wife has been dead almost 7 years now, I would do my best to rear one or more of my grandchildren. I hope that such emergency does not arise. But, the majority of grandchildren being reared by their grandparents, are not because of emergencies, but basically by the failure of their parents to realize their own responsibility in the rearing of children that they have brought into this world.

It seems from the many young people that I have talked to, that have children, the major problems arise from the separation of the couple and the leaving of the children primarily with their mother, a single mom, who then has to go out and find a job to supply the needs of her children. In doing so she has to leave her children with someone, usually that someone turns out to be her mother and father.

Statistics tell us that there are 2.4 million grandparents nationwide that are rearing or helping to rear their grandchildren. Alabama, my own state, has 56,369 of this nationwide number of grandparents rearing or helping to rear their grandchildren.

These separation of young parents come from the failure to recognize the requirements that God calls for in a marriage A marriage of a man and a woman requires that such marriage is for life. God has created one man for one woman for life (Romans 7:2-3). Children are to be brought forth from this wedlock and from no other source or activity. But yet, many young people are "shacking up" together without marriage. Many times a pregnancy arises and the male that is involved in this unholy arrangement runs off and leaves the mother to either abort her expected child or to bring it to term and into the world without a father present to help see to its welfare. Most of the time such situation presents the newborn to someone else to look after while the young mother looks for and obtains work to pay for the child's necessities. The someone else is usually the grandparents.

The presenting of a child or children to grandparents to look after and help to rear usually comes from sin in some form being committed by one or both of the parents. Divorce is sin, living together without being married is sin, bringing children into the world and then not caring for them is a sin. We know that this world in which we live is shot through with sexual immorality. Such sexual immorality brings forth pregnancies. These pregnancies, out of wedlock, usually bring for abortions, which is sin. Or a birth of a child without a father present to help care for its needs, which too is sin.

Yes, grandparents who have already brought up and reared their own family, are now called upon to help rear someone else's family. Young people, please do not bring children into the world without being prepared to care for them yourselves. Please keep yourselves pure sexually until such time as you are married. Young man, if you father a child whether in wedlock or out, it is your responsibility to furnish the needs of the mother and child. Grandparents, I know that you love your grandchildren dearly, in spite of how they were conceived and born into this world, but please do not encourage your children to neglect their personal responsibilities toward their own children by being there to fulfill all the needs and desires of the young couple, or even the separated couple. Young couples must learn to fulfill the needs of children that they have brought into this world and we as grandparents should not encourage them to do otherwise by always being there to basically rear their children for them. Let the preachers of the land be more forceful in their teaching on these responsibilities of young couples to care for their own children.